| Lady Mary Josephine Crawley |
|Marital status||Widow of Matthew Crawley|
|Title(s)|| Lady Mary |
|Hair colour||Dark brown/black|
|Family|| Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (father) |
Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (mother)
|Loyalty|| Crawley family |
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Michelle Dockery|
Her father's estate and title, along with her mother's fortune, must pass to a male heir. Lady Mary is quite bitter about this, especially after the previous heirs die on the Titanic and an unknown distant cousin (Matthew) becomes the new heir. She has a strong will and can be quite selfish, arrogant and cold at times, but she cares greatly for her family and friends, of which Anna, the maid, and Mr. Carson, the butler, are included. Mary is used to getting all the attention, especially from men, which is a point of contention with her sister Edith.
With the death of her husband in September 1921, Mary lost her chance to become Countess of Grantham and will be passed over for her son.
Mary is the eldest daughter of Robert and Cora Crawley. She was born in 1892. In the first episode, the news of the deaths of her two cousins, James and Patrick, is a shock to her because it disrupts the family's strategy for dealing with the entail that requires the family's estate, incorporating her mother's large marriage settlement, as well as the title to pass to male heirs. The family had arranged that Mary would marry Patrick, second in line to the title after James, but Mary did not have strong feelings for him and questions whether she must even wear mourning. Early on in the series, she is seduced by a visitor to the house, Ottoman attaché Kemal Pamuk, who suddenly dies in her bed. Her infuriated mother and the housemaid Anna help her carry his body out of her room and back to his own in order to try to prevent a public scandal that would ruin her marriage prospects.
Mary's relationship with the new heir, distant cousin Matthew Crawley, begins coldly as she overhears him complaining to his mother that he expects the family will "push" the daughters on him. She refuses to acknowledge him as the new heir, declaring that he was "not one of us". Over time, however, the pair grow closer and a romance develops. In 1914, Matthew asks Mary to marry him, but she is cautious and says she won't give him an answer until the end of the London Season in August. However her mother becomes pregnant, and if the baby is a boy, he will inherit the title instead of Matthew, so Mary refuses Matthew on the advice of her aunt, Lady Rosamund Painswick. Another reason for her hesitancy was that she feels she would have to tell Matthew about the one-night "fling" with Pamuk. Heartbroken and angered by her supposed motive, Matthew withdraws his proposal and decides to leave Downton but war breaks out and he joins the Army.
While he is away, Mary gets engaged to Sir Richard Carlisle, a newspaper magnate who, after Mary's confession and request for his assistance, promises to help keep the Pamuk affair under wraps. They plan to marry in July 1919, after the marriage of Matthew and his new fiancée Lavinia Swire, and to move to a neighbouring, stately home that Sir Richard plans to buy. After Lavinia's death, it becomes clear that Matthew and Mary still have feelings for each other. Her relationship with Sir Richard deteriorates and her father, in particular, becomes concerned that she would not be happy with the marriage even if it meant wealth and status. In 1920, Mary breaks off the engagement to Sir Richard and initially agrees to visit her mother's family in America to wait out the Pamuk scandal (as Carlisle threatens to publish it in retaliation). However, Matthew proposes to her again, on a bended knee, and the two become engaged.The couple, after a brief moment of doubt the night before the wedding, happily marry in Series 3. To respect Sybil's last wish, Mary will equally help her brother in law to make her niece and goddaughter Miss Sybil Branson a catholic. While she and Matthew are intent on having children, it is hinted throughout the season that they could be having reproductive issues. In the final episode, Mary and Matthew meet by coincidence at a reproductive health clinic, where Mary reveals she underwent a small and successful operation in order to strengthen their chances of conceiving. Despite previous tension between them, the series ends with them happily reaffirming their love for each other.
In the Christmas Special for 2012, set in September, we see an eight-month pregnant Mary travel to Duneagle Castle in Scotland with the family although Branson stayed behind because he wasn't invited, something that doesn't concern him. After the ball, Mary regrets dancing and tells Matthew that she's going to go back to Downton the next day. Matthew volunteers to join her, but Mary insists that he stay and enjoy the last few days of the trip.
The next day, when Mary steps off the train, she tells Anna to take her to the hospital and notify Mr Crawley, she is going into labour. The Crawley family leaves Scotland at once, and Matthew visits Lady Mary at the hospital as soon as he can make it. Mary has given birth to a son and heir. Matthew then says he "feels like I swallowed fireworks" and tells Mary that he loves her more with each passing day and that she'll be an excellent mother. Matthew then drives back to Downton to tell the family they can now visit his son. As Matthew is driving at what appears to be a fast pace, he doesn't see another automobile driving around the corner. The car hits him, and Matthew and his car are pushed off the road onto the bottom of a small slope. The other driver comes out to help, but sees a dead Matthew, pale and bleeding from his injuries. The episode ends on Mary holding her son, smiling, blissfully unaware that her husband and father of her child is dead.
As a woman, Lady Mary cannot inherit her father's earldom in her own right (that is, inherit the title after his death). As the eldest child of the family, she might have been able to inherit Downton Abbey and the money associated with it, but the estate was entailed to the title by her grandfather at the time of Robert's marriage to the American heiress Cora Levinson, Mary's mother. As a result, the next male heir in the line gets the title, the estate, and Cora's money, which cannot be separated one from another by law. First in line to inherit was Mr James Crawley (Robert Crawley's cousin), followed by his son Patrick (Robert's first cousin once removed). In order for Mary to retain the family's wealth and eventually become mistress of Downton, she had been prepared to marry Patrick and the families had secretly considered an engagement between the two, but in April 1912 both heirs drowned on the R.M.S. Titanic. It is obvious that Mary, who has a pronounced independent streak, did not love Patrick in a romantic way. She tells Sybil that what makes her truly sad is that she is not sad enough about Patrick's death, and bemoans the fact she has to wear black in mourning for him.
Believing Mary will inherit the estate after James and Patrick's deaths, he organises a visit to Downton in order to court her. She is at first bewildered and then intrigued when he convinces her to explore the servant quarters, an area of the house in which the family would have rarely ventured. They enter footman Thomas's room, where the Duke rummages through the drawers. Mary is uncomfortable about this and is apologetic when they are caught by Bates. The reason for this visit to Thomas' room was that the Duke had had an affair with him once in London and was looking for the love letters he had written so that Thomas could not blackmail him now that he knows Mary is not to inherit Downton.
Evelyn Napier, a family friend, visits Downton accompanied by a Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk, a young man so strikingly handsome that even the earl remarks upon it. Pamuk immediately lusts after Mary, a feeling she reciprocates. Later he blackmails Thomas Barrow, who has mistakingly made an advance, into showing him where her room is so that he will know where to go that night. Even though Mary resists his early advances, she is nonetheless coerced by him when he enters her bedchambers. He assures her she will remain ostensibly a virgin for her husband, and she submits-- fearing what would happen if she does not. Later that night, Mary wakes up head housemaid Anna Smith to report that Pamuk suffered a heart attack and died in her arms. Together, with the help of her mother Cora Crawley, they carry him to his own room, in the distant bachelor's corridor, so that he may be discovered the next day dead in his own bed and not in Mary's.
This scandal will haunt Mary for the rest of her life, should it ever seep to the public. However John Bates' first wife, Vera Bates is aware of Lady Mary and Kemal Pamuk's story and has threatened that she will go to the newspapers with the story. Lady Mary informs newspaper editor, and future fiance, Sir Richard Carlisle, of her indiscretion, Vera Bates and Vera's threat to make the story public. Sir Richard buys the legal rights to the story from Vera Bates and keeps the story out of the newspapers. After Lady Mary's father notices that his daughter is unhappy, Cora tells him everything about Kemal. Lord Grantham tells his daughter to call off her engagement with Sir Richard, and he will support her if and when the story is made public. After her engagement is called off, Sir Richard tells Lady Mary he will feel no regret when he exposes the scandal which may bring ruin upon Lady Mary and her family.
Mary and Matthew are fourth cousins. When they first meet, he is enamored by her but she mocks him and instantly dislikes him. While she ridiculed him whenever possible, he appears quite smitten with her, despite her often harsh words. As time passed, the more time they spent together the fonder she grew of him. Mary, despite originally intending to hate him for 'usurping' her inheritance, was soon drawn to his mild manners and sharp wit.
She also feels guilty about the Pamuk affair, and that she needs to tell Matthew about this before accepting him. This hesitation leads to Matthew withdrawing his proposal, leaving Mary devastated and they barely speak for two years.
During the Christmas and New Year celebrations of 1919 and 1920, Mary and Matthew become closer, but Mary's fiance Sir Richard Carlisle, looms as a threat. Mary is very unhappy with Sir Richard and grows to dislike him. Matthew presses her for an explanation for her continued engagement in light of this distaste. When she breaks off the engagement with the permission and support of her father Lord Grantham, she decides to weather the storm of scandal caused by her one-night stand with Kemal Pamuk and go to America to wait it out. Although Matthew was shocked and stunned, he still loves her and he told Mary that he never would and never could despise her, and her history with Kemal Pamuk will never come between them in their present and future life together. Matthew proposes to her and she happily accepts.
In Spring 1920, Matthew and Mary happily get married and it is hinted that the pair were having trouble getting pregnant. Mary has a small, successful operation which allows the pair to have children. The Christmas Special, set a year later, sees a pregnant Mary going to Scotland with her family. After returning early from Scotland without the family, Mary goes into labour and Matthew rushes to the hospital to see Mary holding their son and heir. Matthew then tells Mary that he falls more in love with her everyday and the two share a sweet moment with their unnamed son. Matthew goes back to Downton to tell everyone the good news when, out of nowhere, a car turns a corner and kills Matthew. The episode ends with Mary holding her son, smiling, unaware of the accident.Kemal Pamuk in order to protect her and her family, because Mr Bates first wife Vera Bates has threatened that she will go to the newspapers about the story. Sir Richard bought the legal rights to Vera Bates story, and to stop the story to be publish to all newspapers, Mary thinks she will forever be in his debt. However, Lord Grantham notices Lady Mary's unhappiness with Sir Richard and asks his wife, Cora, whether there is something he ought to know and Cora tells him about Mr. Pamuk. Lord Grantham approaches Mary and gives her his full support and permission for breakng off the engagement and weathering the potential scandalous storm. Mary then breaks the news to Carlisle who threatens her with ruin and insults Matthew. Matthew and Sir Richard come to blows and Sir Richard decides to leave the next day. But, Mary is waiting for him and she tells him that she feels partly responsible and apologizes for using him. Sir Richard tells her that he loved her more than she knows, but still won't feel obligated to hold back the scandal from the papers.
After her grandmother thinks Sybil might have a secret love, Mary sees Tom talking to her and is suspicious. Later she insisted Tom could not talk with Sybil about other things than his job and was shocked to learn of his love for Sybil and desire to run away with her, saying to Sybil, "You and the chauffeur?!" She only promised not to give Tom away as long as Sybil did not do anything rash. After learning Sybil decided to marry Tom and persuading her not to just run off, she told Tom she was confident she could persuade her to end her engagement and offered Tom money for the room they were in. He said he would pay and return the car.
When Sybil did marry Tom however, she supported Sybil's efforts to help bring him closer to the family, promising as much to Sybil. When Larry Grey drugged Tom during one dinner, making him appear rude and loud, she told the entire dinner immediately after finding out, and supported Matthew's wish to make him best man. After Tom was suspected of being involved in a terrorist attack in Ireland, she attacked him verbally, accusing him of dancing around an estate that was burned.
Following Sybil's death however, she immediately grew much closer to Tom, defending his decisions to baptize his daughter Catholic (since Sybil told her prior she didn't mind and she promised to fight their corner) and name her Sybil. Tom named Mary Sybbie's godmother. She also asked his opinion on Matthew's plans for Downton, as well as continuing to insist the family call him by his first name instead of his last.
She will grow considerably closer to Tom following Matthew's death, and spend much more time with him.
- "Oh dear, if I answer truthfully you'll think me rather forward." - to the Duke of Crowborough when he asks if she likes being alone with him (Episode 1)
- "I don't believe a woman can be forced to give away all her money to a distant cousin of her husband's. Not in the 20th century. It's too ludicrous for words." - to her mother, Cora, referring to her cousin Matthew, who will inherit her father's estate (Episode 1)
- "You and my parents have something in common." - to Kemal Pamuk, attempting to get him to leave her bedroom as he advances and begins to kiss her, "You believe I'm much more of a rebel than I am." (Episode 3)
- "Everything seems so golden one minute, then turns to ashes the next. Can I ask you a question, Carson? Have you ever felt your life was somehow...slipping away? And there was nothing you could do to stop it?" - to Carson after the death of Kemal Pamuk, "The odd thing is, I feel...for the first time, really, I understand what it is to be happy. It's just that I know that I won't be." (Episode 3)
- "You should learn to forget what I say. I know I do." - to Matthew at the fair, referring to previous critical remarks she made to him about the middle class (Episode 4)
- "Women like me don't have a life. We choose clothes and pay calls and work for charity and do the season. But really we are stuck in a waiting room until we marry." - to Matthew, discussing his work and her life at the fair (Episode 4)
"Haven't you heard? I don't have a heart. Everyone knows that." - to Anna in a conversation about how she is recovering from the Kemal Pamuk affair (Episode 4)
"So I'm just to find a husband and get out of the way?" - to her father, Robert, about Matthew inheriting the estate. He responds, "You could stay here if you married Matthew." She replies, "You know my character, Father. I'd never marry any man that I was told to. I'm stubborn. I wish I wasn't, but I am." (Episode 4)
- "I wish you'd just admit it! I'm a lost soul to you! I took a lover with no thought of marriage! A Turk! Think of that!" - to her mother, Cora, about Cora giving up the fight to break the entail (Episode 4)
"All alone with plenty of money and a house in Eton Square? I can't imagine anything better." - to Sybil, referring to their Aunt Rosamund's situation (Episode 5)
"How many times am I to be ordered to marry the man sitting next to me at dinner?"- to her mother, Cora, before dinner with Sir Anthony Strallan (Episode 5)
"I'll admit that if I ever wanted to attract a man, I'd stay clear of those clothes and that hat." - to Edith when Edith teases her about Matthew (Episode 5)
- "When you laugh with me or flirt with me, is that a duty? Are you conforming to the fitness of things?" - to Matthew after he rescues Sybil from a riot and refers to it as his "duty" (Episode 6)
- "You can't be sure I was going to refuse you, even if it had been a boy. Because I'm not." - to Matthew when he withdraws his proposal after Cora miscarries. A son would have displaced Matthew as heir. (Episode 7)
- "Would you have stayed if I'd accepted you?" - to Matthew, after he withdraws his proposal and tells her that he's leaving Downton. He replies, "Of course." She answers,"So I've ruined everything." (Episode 7)
- "I wanted to give you this. It's my lucky charm. I've had it always, so you must promise to bring it back without a scratch." - to Matthew as he departs for the war (Episode 1)
- "'Goodbye then. And such good luck!" - to Matthew as he departs for the war (Episode 1)
- "Dear Lord, I don't pretend to have much credit with you. I'm not even sure that you're there. But if you are, and if I've ever done anything good, I beg you to keep him safe." - Mary praying for Matthew at the battlefront (Episode 1)
- '"Well there you are then. One day you'll meet someone else and you'll marry. Perhaps it'll be second best, but it doesn't mean you can't have a life." - to Anna, asking for her advice about marrying Sir Richard, and referring to Anna's true love, Mr. Bates, who left Downton with his wife (Episode 2).
- "The truth is we're very much alike, so naturally I think she's perfect." - to Matthew when he asks for her opinion of Lavinia (Episode 3)
- "You sound as if you were going to gobble her up." - to Violet when she mentions inviting Lavinia to tea (Episode 3)
- "No names, no pack drill." - to Matthew about the private battle between Isobel and Cora over the running of the hospital at Downton (Episode 3)
- "Why must she be so savage? It's my broken heart and it was her advice that wrecked it in the first place." - to Violet about Rosamund, who plots to break up Lavinia and Matthew (Episode 3)
- "Poor Matthew. What must he do to persuade you that he's in love with Lavinia? Open his chest and carve her name on his heart?" - to Lord Grantham when he offers Matthew as an alternative to marrying Sir Richard (Episode 4)
- "Oh, darling, darling, don't be such a baby. This isn't fairyland. What did you think? You'd marry the chauffeur and we'd all come to tea?" - to Sybil about her relationship with Branson (Episode 4)
- "Matthew, are you feeling a little less groggy?" - to Matthew when he wakes in hospital (Episode 5)
- "I don't think we can say 'should' about things that happen in war. It just happens. And we should live with it." - to Matthew when he says that William should be alive too (Episode 6)
- "Your lot buys it, my lot inherits it." - to Sir Richard about finding furnishings for Hacksby Park (Episode 6)
- "With you at the helm, there's much more chance of a smooth crossing." - to Carson about coming with her to run the new household when she is married (Episode 6)
- "Well, I suppose one has to live somewhere."- to Sir Richard about Hacksby Park (Episode 6)
- "Of course not. Would I ever admit to loving a man who preferred someone else over me?" - to Sir Richard when he asks if she is still in love with Matthew (Episode 7)
- "Of course it's the end. How could it not be?" - to Matthew after Lavinia's funeral when he tells her that they can have no future together because they are the reason Lavinia died (Episode 7)
- "It was lust, Matthew! Or a need for excitement, or something in him that I...Oh, God, what difference does it make? I'm Tess of the d'Urbervilles to your Angel Clarie. I have fallen. I am impure." - to Matthew when she tells him about her affair with Kemal Pamuk (Christmas Special)
- "Oh, Matthew, you don't mean that. You know yourself we carry more luggage than the porters at King's Cross." - to Matthew when he asks her if she would stay at Downton if he asked her to (Christmas Special)
- "You must say it properly. I won't answer unless you kneel down and everything."- to Matthew as he proposes (Christmas Special)
- "Now stop talking and kiss me before I get cross,"- to Matthew Crawley, her husband.
- "I'm glad to hear it. I should hate to be predictable," to her husband Matthew Crawley at the altar before they are going to marry. He said he wasn't completely sure she would come as they had had an argument the night before.
- "Oh, do pick him, Carson, and cheer us all up a bit. Alfred is nice, but he does look like a puppy that has been rescued from a puddle." - to Mr. Carson on why he should hire Jimmy the handsome candidate as footman.
- "I'm never against you. But you've lost on this one." -to her father, Robert Crawley, on why he should give up the fight and to let baby Sybil be christened Catholic.
- "...And in my book, the Countess of Grantham lives at Downton Abbey. Simple." -to her mother Cora on why she cannot live at Downton Place.
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 1||Episode 1|
|Series 2||Episode 1|
|Series 3||Episode 1|
Behind the scenes Edit
- Lady Mary Crawley is played by actress Michelle Dockery.
- In "The Chronicles of Downton Abbey : A New Era" by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis, Jullian Fellowes relates that the character of Mary Crawley is based on both his wife (who resembles her in appearance) and his "indomitable" mother. He says that Mary and the character of Emma, have "the quality of shaping their own destiny, rather than abiding by the rules of others".